Australia’s national final, Eurovision – Australia Decides, has been generating plenty of buzz since its return was announced earlier this year. Broadcaster SBS previously said they were planning to go “bigger and better” than their first national final, and boy (or rather, girls) are they right.
SBS have revealed that female soloists Casey Donovan and Vanessa Amarosi will be taking centre stage on the Gold Coast next February in an attempt to win their spot at Eurovision 2020.
While rumours circulated on social media throughout the day of who the two acts would be, SBS formally confirmed the first two artists with their official announcement today at 20:00 CET.
Casey shot to fame at the humble age of 16, becoming the youngest winner of Australian Idol in 2004 before going on to win the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2017. A household name, the once-shy singer has flourished as a musician — whether on stage or on screen, presenting or writing. Her highest accolades to date include an ARIA No #1 Award for “Listen with Your Heart” and receiving Indigenous Awards for Best Album, Best Single and Most Promising New Talent.
Now at 31, she has become a poster girl for fuller-figured women, and has headlined her own tribute concerts as well as supporting legendary singer Cyndi Lauper on her Australian national tour. She’s also appeared in stage productions of The Sapphires (a role made famous by 2018 Australian representative Jessica Mauboy), as well as productions of RENT, We Will Rock You and Chicago, among others.
Casey is also no stranger to the Australia Decides stage, opening the 2019 show on the Gold Coast with a cover of Guy Sebastian’s Eurovision entry “Tonight Again” to a roaring reception.
This time, she will be singing her song “Proud” in the national final — not to be confused with North Macedonia and Tamara Todevksa’s entry in Eurovision 2019.
Speaking about entering the contest, Casey said:
“I’m so excited to be a part of Eurovision – Australia Decides after opening the show this year and seeing the amazing talent. When I was asked I thought, ‘what an amazing thing to be a part of!’ It doesn’t matter what happens for me, “Proud” is such an incredible song written by the talented Justine Eltakchi and I’m proud to sing it. I can’t wait to share the stage with some of Australia’s most talented singers. And I mean Vanessa Amorosi… She’s my idol! I love her!”
Selling over two million albums in her career, Vanessa Amorosi has proven her versatility across many genres, including, pop, rock, blues, jazz, and gospel. Vanessa’s songwriting ability and dynamic vocal range have led to four critically acclaimed studio albums, as well as 16 ARIA and APRA nominations.
One of her biggest accolades was performing at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics and at the Paralympic Games, singing the Olympic song titled “Heroes Live Forever”.
Fresh from living some years in the United States as a singer and songwriter, the girl who broke the Australian music industry at 16 with club banger “Absolutely Everybody” is making an emphatic return to the music scene 20 years later with her new album, Back to Love — from which she will be selecting a song to enter in Australia Decides.
Vanessa spoke of entering the contest:
“I am so incredibly excited to be part of Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020. I am a proud Aussie and to have the opportunity to sing one of my songs on a huge international stage representing Australia would be unforgettable. I look forward to Australia hearing my song and working alongside friends and fellow musicians on this journey. It’s going to be very special. Listen to my new album Back to Love, released today, and see if you can guess which song it is…”
Creative Director for the national final and Head of Delegation Paul Clarke said of the first two artist announcements:
“Casey and Vanessa are two of the most respected voices in the country, and we welcome Vanessa home from her years in America. We can’t wait to hear her bring that brilliant voice to the Eurovision – Australia Decides stage on the Gold Coast. She’s one of Casey’s vocal heroes! We have more exciting artists and songs to announce soon — it’s shaping up to be an absolutely awesome show!”
Eurovision – Australia Decides will take place again at the sunny Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 7 (preview show) and February 8 (Grand Final).
What do you think of Casey and Vanessa’s addition to the national final line up? Let us know in the comments below.